Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
Several initiatives have been undertaken in SVG in order to achieve the 2010 target, including species protection and habitat protection. Several species have been legally protected using total bans, quotas, closed seasons, size, weight and gear restrictions and trade restrictions. Protected species include St. Vincent Parrot, the armadillo, the Caribbean Spiny Lobster, the Humback Whale and all species of corals. The Draft Fisheries Management Plan also outlines specific management objectives and strategies for species in the following fisheries: coastal pelagics, large pelagics, shallow-shelf and reef fishes, deep-slope fishes, lobster and conch. Targets to improve the status of agricultural crops threatened by invasive species are included in the Ministry of Agriculture work plan. These targets fall under various programmes including the Mango Seed Weevil Eradication Programme and the Pink Mealy Bug Eradication/Control Programme. In order to conserve the genetic diversity of species important to agriculture, the Agriculture Department has established 3 germplasm plots.
Strategies and activities promoting the sustainable use of resources have been incorporated into the plans and programmes of the primary biodiversity agencies such as the Forestry Department and the Fisheries Division. To reduce the unsustainable consumption of biological resources, the government is promoting sustainable livelihoods, the development of value-added products from unutilized or underutilized species, a transition from harvesting near-shore fisheries resources to those with lower harvesting pressures such as deep slope species, the development and use of selective fishing gear that minimize by-catch, and forest patrols. Finally, the Integrated Forest Management and Development Programme (IFMDP) was established in 2003 to address deforestation and illegal forestry activities. One of the main components of the project is the development of “viable employment alternatives in rural communities, preventing deforestation while promoting the sustainable use of the forest resources” (Plan for the Integrated Forest Management and Development Programme, 2003).
Initiatives in Protected Areas
As part of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The Nature Conservancy, RARE Centre for Tropical Bird Conservation and the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies, and the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, the country intends to establish and maintain a comprehensive system of effectively managed and ecologically representative protected areas on land by 2010 and at sea by 2012. In addition, the Government is collaborating with the European Union in a jointly funded project to implement a system of protected areas and heritage sites proposed in 2004 under the auspices of the National, Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority. A gap assessment of the protected areas system is currently being undertaken with the further aim of improving management effectiveness, reducing threats, maintaining sustainability (ecological and financial) and ensuring ecological representation. The current trend is to plan for the management these areas using the eco-system approach, participatory management and other integrated approaches. There is also a trend of regional cooperation in the management of protected areas, including the sharing of information and joint programmes for areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing
Work with genetic resources is limited, but the country ensures, mainly through administrative and policy measures in line with article 15 of the CBD, access to and equitable sharing of such resources for environmentally sound uses. The country has benefited from collaborative work on tissue culture, particularly in improved cultivation of vegetables, fruit trees and other horticultural crops. The country has also benefited from regional cooperation with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), which has improved breeds of sheep and goats, as well as improved germplasm of a wide range of crops.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Training workshops have been held for fishers on the Grenadine islands of Bequia and Mustique to promote co-management of the artificial reefs in those communities. Consultations were held with local fishers prior to the deployment of these reefs and information obtained during these consultations was used to guide the artificial reef experiment. In addition, a series of consultations were held with beach seine fishers throughout the island with the aim of translating traditional practices into legislation for the purpose of managing the beach seine fishery. Furthermore, the knowledge and practices of local communities regarding the conservation of sea turtles is currently in focus, and individuals as well as community-based groups are being trained to tag, monitor and collect data on turtles nesting in their communities. Capacity-strengthening initiatives are central to the Sustainable Grenadines project, which aims to equip local communities with the tools to sustainably use and manage of their resources.